The New Rules: When Contractors Fill America’s Foreign Policy Gap

The New Rules: When Contractors Fill America’s Foreign Policy Gap

Much ink has been spilt over the question of whether or not globalization leads to the "death" of the nation-state, or at least its eclipse by a rising tide of super-empowered non-state actors -- especially multinational corporations. On this score, history has been fairly clear: States that score high on globalization connectivity typically feature governments with extensive regulatory reach and strong enforcement capacity -- not exactly the demise of the public sector.

And yet, it's also true that globalization's increasingly dense weave of networks poses significant challenges to government oversight. I can think of no credible expert who argues that today's world possesses too many rules relative to the skyrocketing volume of cross-border transactions (both welcome and unsavory). Indeed, conspiratorial fantasies about a world secretly run by a powerful elite are easily brushed aside by far more substantial fears that nobody is truly in charge of globalization's continued expansion. The world now has too many frontiers manned by too few sheriffs.

Into that breach has lately flowed all manner of private-sector actors eager to establish and dominate markets that lie just on the edge of presumed government control. This process is often incorrectly -- or perhaps too narrowly -- described as outsourcing. After all, how can governments really outsource that which they can only aspire to control?

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.